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U.S.-Russia talks on Venezuela stall over role of Maduro

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U.S.-Russia talks on Venezuela stall over role of Maduro

By Philip Pullella

 

2019-03-19T222533Z_1_LYNXNPEF2I1TU_RTROPTP_4_VENEZUELA-POLITICS.JPG

Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro speaks during his visit to the Hydroelectric Generation System on the Caroni River, near Ciudad Guayana, Bolivar State, Venezuela March 16, 2019. Miraflores Palace/Handout via REUTERS

 

ROME (Reuters) - High-level U.S.-Russian talks on how to defuse Venezuela's crisis ended on Tuesday with the two sides still at odds over the legitimacy of President Nicolas Maduro.

 

Russia has said Maduro remains the country's only legitimate leader whereas the United States and many other Western countries back Juan Guaido, head of the opposition-controlled National Assembly who invoked a constitutional provision in January to assume an interim presidency.

 

"No, we did not come to a meeting of minds, but I think the talks were positive in the sense that both sides emerged with a better understanding of the other's views," U.S. special representative Elliot Abrams told reporters.

 

The Russian side also said the two sides now understood their respective standpoints better after the two-hour talks in Rome but Moscow's delegation chief, Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov was blunter.

 

"Perhaps we failed to narrow positions on this situation...," Russian state news agency TASS quoted Ryabkov as saying. "We assume that Washington treats our priorities seriously, our approach and warnings."

 

Ryabkov was quoted by Russia's RIA news agency as saying the talks were difficult but frank and that Moscow had warned Washington not to intervene militarily in Venezuela.

 

Abrams said "who gets the title of president" in Venezuela was still a point of contention.

 

He called Tuesday's talks useful, substantive and serious and said both sides agreed "on the depth of the crisis". Ryabkov said Russia was increasingly concerned by U.S. sanctions on the Latin American country.

 

Hours earlier, the United States imposed sanctions against Venezuela's state-run gold mining company Minerven and its president, Adrian Perdomo.

 

U.S. President Donald Trump has said all options are on the table for Venezuela, a position Abrams said the Russian side brought up at Tuesday's meeting.

 

High-ranking military officers are seen as crucial to keeping Maduro in power in the face of a hyperinflationary economic meltdown that has spread hunger and preventable disease and led to an exodus of some 3 million people since 2015.

 

Maduro's government, which retains the backing of Russia and China, drew widespread international condemnation after he was re-elected last year in a vote widely regarded as fraudulent.

 

Abrams cited recent estimates that over the next few months Venezuela's vital oil exports would fall below a million barrels a day and that the country's oil exports were declining by about 50,000 barrels a month.

 

"This a catastrophe for Venezuela," Abrams said.

 

(Additional reporting by Andrey Kuzmin and Tom Balmforth in Moscow; Editing by Crispian Balmer and Mark Heinrich)

 

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-- © Copyright Reuters 2019-03-20

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Sure would be nice to have a positive new beginning here but looking at the players that outcome is sadly doubtful 

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Maduro needs to do three things:

1. Make hemp/Cannabis a root Venezuelan agricultural product.

2. Invite China over with improved trade deals in exchange for strong military defensive help. Russia is looking more promising also; probably because of the gold. 

3. Speak openly to the global community about changes he will make to help his people.

 

 

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5 hours ago, webfact said:

Juan Guaido, head of the opposition-controlled National Assembly who invoked a constitutional provision in January to assume an interim presidency.

Make that "invoked incorrectly."

The rational used by the West might be similar to a scenario wherein Hillary wins the 2016 US presidential election while Trump and Republicans boycotted the election. Then Trump, backed by many democratic nations, claims that Hillary's election was fraudulent and he was the rightful president because of election corruption.

Who'd believe that Trump would be the legitimate president?

The US does in the case of Venezuela.

Perhaps the US can buy Russia's and China's cooperation with favorable trade deals or some diplomatic concessions beyond South America. I bet of Trump could withdraw the Magnitsky Act sanctions against Russia, Putin would respond with "Maduro who?"

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6 hours ago, webfact said:

Abrams cited recent estimates that over the next few months Venezuela's vital oil exports would fall below a million barrels a day and that the country's oil exports were declining by about 50,000 barrels a month.

 

"This a catastrophe for Venezuela," Abrams said.

A catastrophe caused by US sanctions... what a great way to help the suffering masses

 

6 hours ago, webfact said:

in the face of a hyperinflationary economic meltdown that has spread hunger and preventable disease and led to an exodus of some 3 million people since 2015.

So... legitimate refugees heading north... right.

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6 hours ago, webfact said:

No, we did not come to a meeting of minds, but I think the talks were positive in the sense that both sides emerged with a better understanding of the other's views," U.S. special representative Elliot Abrams told reporters.

 

6 hours ago, webfact said:

We assume that Washington treats our priorities seriously, our approach and warnings."

 

Ryabkov was quoted by Russia's RIA news agency as saying the talks were difficult but frank and that Moscow had warned Washington not to intervene militarily in Venezuela.

Yep.... that could have all transpired just as well with an exchange of middle finger meme emails.

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1 hour ago, Srikcir said:

Make that "invoked incorrectly."

The rational used by the West might be similar to a scenario wherein Hillary wins the 2016 US presidential election while Trump and Republicans boycotted the election. Then Trump, backed by many democratic nations, claims that Hillary's election was fraudulent and he was the rightful president because of election corruption.

Who'd believe that Trump would be the legitimate president?

The US does in the case of Venezuela.

Perhaps the US can buy Russia's and China's cooperation with favorable trade deals or some diplomatic concessions beyond South America. I bet of Trump could withdraw the Magnitsky Act sanctions against Russia, Putin would respond with "Maduro who?"

 

So you have no problem when Maduro dissolved the opposition led elected parliament and replaced it with one made of of people he appointed; intimidated and arrested opposition members; and lies and denies the crisis facing most people of lack of food, medicines and supplies?

 

Maduro - opposed by most if not all Western style democracies and supported by totalitarian Russia and China.

 

We can see your idea of "democracy" clearly now.

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